MAX RUIZ LAING & MARLEY SNIATOWSKY
Owners/Oyster Boys - Choice Harbour, Downtown
Max and Marley are two guys worthy of their own theme song. They’re full of energy, quick witted, and have some of the best oysters we’ve ever tried. These guys are meant for each other, not only do their names read like the title to an ABC Family buddy show but they should, obviously, be starring in that buddy show. The premise may go something like this: two guys that have grown up in the restaurant industry start a business together serving some of the most delicious oysters with a side of sass in Montreal.
We’re pretty sure we’d be fans of this hypothetical primetime show since we’re already fans of this loveable man duo. Their dynamic just works, but that’s not news to them, as Max puts it “Marley and I have been very close for a long time now. A lot of stuff we’ve been doing, we’ve been doing together.” They both have extensive backgrounds in the restaurant industry, with a roster of highly reputable Montreal restaurants including Garde Manger, Liverpool House and Joe Beef, as past experience to bring to Choice Harbour. They have come to the understanding that as much as it’s about the oysters and the drinks it’s equally about the service aspect of the business. It’s about the people; about the interactions they have with their clients and their dynamic that really makes them unique. With so much experience in the restaurant industry they’re able to “see how well people respond to a certain way that we offer service” and they’re applying that in a larger scale at events. “If we can take over your house or party and give you the same feeling you had in the restaurant then that’s perfect.” Nothing is more satisfying to the guys of Choice Harbour than having a great day on the job. They “take great pleasure in going to meetings and sussing things out with [clients]”, they work hard and take great pride and care in every aspect of the job.
“Friction is the word. You want the service to be seamless but the rest should be friction of human interaction; it should be rough, it should be fun. You can tell we think about human interaction a lot.”
Both Max and Marley respectively have their own set of strengths and weaknesses but they both know how to work off of each other. “Better to have four hands instead of two,” as Marley puts it. They balance each other out which makes for a well oiled machine.
These guys really do love what they’re doing. They have tremendous passion in what they’re offering to people and it makes it easy for them to work hard at it. “The goal is work as hard as you can, derive as much joy from the work as you can. You have to get pleasure from your work or else you will go insane”. What are the future plans for Choice Harbour? Max jokingly says “being able to control the stereo, it’s the only reason we’ve expanded our services.” Joking aside, we definitely see a glowing future for Choice Harbour (and we wouldn’t hate their playlist either), not to worry though, they’ll always keep things close to home. They love being able to cater to clients that share some of their NDG roots. Having that sense of home make the long hours worthwhile, especially while serving their favorite clients.
It may be their passion for service that sets them apart or maybe it’s their ability to bond with anyone that wanders their way. Regardless, we’re coming back for more and so are their building list of clients.
What is your ideal day?
Marley: Nothing makes me happier than a perfect service (on the job), walking home from that is the best feeling. At this point in my life, it’s a really good day at work.
Max: Nail your day at work, do the event, everything’s clean, go to Majestique, everything’s busy, everyone’s happy, go to l’Express have a giant steak and some wine, come home watch a sci-fi, go to sleep.